Bio 6973

Neural Modeling

Fall 2008, Tu-Th 11-12:15, BSB 2.03.10


Dr. Todd Troyer                                                                                                                   458-5487

BSB 1.03.34                                                                                        Office hours: By Appointment

Primary Course Materials: Course notes and matlab demos provided by the instructor, and selected articles from the primary research literature.


Supplemental Materials: Getting Started with Matlab 7, by Mathworks, The book of Genesis, by James Bower and David Beeman,,  Methods in Neuronal Modeling: From Ions to Networks by Christof Koch, and Idan Segev, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1998. Theoretical Neuroscience, by Peter Dayan and Larry Abbott, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2001. 


Class Web site:

All class materials, including this syllabus, class notes, and matlab demos will be posted for download.


Prerequisites: Calculus and BIO 5433 or permission of instructor.


Course Description: The aim of this course is to provide students with a hands-on introduction to neural modeling.  The core of the class will be for each student to research, develop and implement a model-based research project. Research projects will be selected by the student with the aid and approval of the instructor. During the first part of the course, students will learn basic computer programming skills using matlab, and work through a demo-based survey of basic topics in computational neuroscience.  Students will be expected to give 3 oral presentations during the course of the semester: (a) a “journal club”-like presentation of a research article, (b) a project proposal, (c) a project report at the end of the semester.  Group work and cooperative effort is highly encouraged, and a large fraction of class time will be spent in group discussion and trouble-shooting.


Course Requirements/Grading: Grades will be based upon class participation and miscellaneous homework/exercises (20%), oral presentation of research literature related to project (20%), the project proposal (written and oral, 25%), and the project report (written and oral, 35%)


Students with Disabilities/Religious Holidays: The University makes every effort to accommodate students with documented disabilities or religious conflicts. However, it is the student's responsibility to inform the instructor of their special needs at the beginning of the semester.